'I want my story to be heard…’: Examining the Production of Digital Stories by Queer Youth in East and South-East Asia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Online video-sharing platforms, such as YouTube, afford queer young people new opportunities to document, discuss and explore sexuality and gender identity. However, there remains limited work undertaken on how these digital stories are produced for sites such as YouTube—“networked publics” (boyd, Networked self: Identity, community, and culture on social network sites, Routledge, 2011)—and who the imagined audience/s these digital stories are constructed for. In this chapter, I draw on Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field and symbolic power to examine how nine LGBT filmmakers and storytellers in East and South-East Asia construct digital stories for YouTube. The findings show how the networked platform is perceived to afford new possibilities for presenting intimate stories of LGBT life to diverse multi-layered imagined audiences, across local, national and transnational space/s. The stories are produced to provide support for those with diverse sexualities and genders, as well as (re)shape representations of sexuality and gender identity locally and transnationally. The films seek to disrupt the symbolic meaning of sexuality, and are created to shift the habitus of the imagined viewers. In doing so this extends the filmmakers’ and storytellers’ existing activist practices and queer interventions within the world. YouTube, as a networked public, is thus an important structuring medium for collective queer world-making, which gets used for its perceived capacity to present legitimate and alternative visions of sexuality and gender diversity to multi-layered transnational audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Geographies of Digital Sexuality
EditorsCatherine Nash, Andrew Gorman-Murray
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-13-6876-9
ISBN (Print)978-981-13-6875-2
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2019


  • Young People
  • Queer
  • LGBT
  • YouTube
  • Identity
  • Bourdieu
  • Social Media


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